7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 221)
I just got back from taking all six kids to a park for some mandatory frolicking.
You know what takes an incredibly long time? Getting six young children ready for a trip to the park. I had finished the five-hour process of feeding them all breakfast (didn’t time it, but that’s my estimate) and then started finding shoes and spraying sun screen and arguing with the four-year-old who insisted on wearing a long-sleeved black shirt on a 97-degree day because it had a picture of a kitty on it. Then the baby started crying, so I had to stop everything to feed him and change his diaper. By the time I got him settled down and got the four-year-old into a t-shirt and found all the shoes…enough time had elapsed that they were all hungry again.
I explained the myriad benefits of fasting and told them to enjoy the autophagy while we went to the park, because there was no way I was preparing another meal. By the time we actually got there it was 1:30, and as long as you stayed in the shade it felt comfortably like the surface of Venus. Unfortunately, all the play equipment had been baking in the sun for hours. I sat sweating under a tree for a while, listening to the sounds of laughter intermingled with cries of “OW!” any time the kids tried to slide or touch a swing. We gave up after about 20 minutes, fighting heat stroke as we trekked back to the car, and I finally got lunch served around 2:45.
I give myself an A for effort in the fun department today, and I hereby declare that it’s time for Netflix and Mommy Computer Time.
I’m speaking in Bismarck in the fall, which is sounding pretty good about now. I’ll be at the Thirst Conference, along with Cardinal Dolan, Scott Hahn, and a bunch of other amazing folks. You can see the whole list of speakers here. I’m not able to do much travel right now, so this will be my only speaking engagement for the rest of 2013. I’m really looking forward to it!
I actually used to live in Bismarck, and have fond memories of the city. If I recall correctly, it has very friendly people and you can leave your house without worrying about stinging insects attacking you.
It’s Flag Day! Every time I see this holiday on the calendar I’m reminded of my plans for having a hugely successful band.
“A band?” you say. “But haven’t you said before that you have zero musical talent?” Yes. But here’s the thing: you know how radio stations will trot out songs that maybe aren’t all that great because they’re relevant to a current holiday? Like, let’s face it: New Year’s Day is not one of the highlights from U2’s impressive catalogue of work, but we always hear it five times on New Year’s Day.
My genius idea is to create a pop album that is entirely devoted to holidays that nobody has sung about yet. Who cares if all the tracks would be me singing horribly off-key over some canned music samples that came with my laptop? Radio stations would be obliged to play them to have some music relevant to the holiday. Here are some songs my debut album will include:
- Boxing Day – O Canada Remix
- Gonna Lose My Mind, It’s Daylight Savings Time
- Flag Day (Holla’)
- Crazy 4 Columbus Day
- Time to Party Like It’s Spring Equinox
- Prezident’s Day
- Summer Soulstice
It’s going to be huge.
Joe has been kind enough to let me sneak out in the evenings to do some writing at coffee shops so that I can hit my big deadline. Does that sound like a simple activity? Going to a coffee shop and writing something? Alas, for me, it’s not.
In order to be productive, I really need access to a plug for my laptop. Now, here’s where it gets complicated: HOW CAN YOU KNOW whether the coffee shop you’ve just pulled up to has a plug available? What if you walk in the door and see that all the tables near plugs are taken?!?!?! I mean, it’s not like you can just walk in, take a look around, and walk out. I feel like if I did that, all the employees would gasp and whisper, She was just here to use us for our electrical outlets! and my face would be put on some Most Horrible Customers list that they keep behind the counter. The other day I almost overdosed on chamomile tea because I walked into a coffee shop and saw that there were no good tables available, but I bought a tea because I felt like I had to, and then I had to buy another one at the place where I finally stayed.
Anyway, if this book never gets finished and I end up going broke from spending my money on overpriced brewed beverages, that’s why.
I’m aware that part of the problem here is that I want to maintain my non-Mac-owning status more than I want to have a positive computing experience.
Pretty much every other person in the coffee shops these days has a MacBook Air, and sometimes I stare at them as I openly weep tears of envy. These people just open up their laptops, and they turn on right away! And the screens are bright and vivid!
And the battery life, oh, the battery life. It is as if these devices don’t even use traditional batteries at all, but tap into a power source from some unseen dimension full of awesomeness. Last night the lady next to me slipped her weightless MacBook out of her stylish little bag and start delicately clicking away on the keyboard, and when I looked back at my own laptop I felt like I’d hauled in a mainframe computer on a forklift.
I’ve resisted getting a Mac for years. I used to use them when I worked at a newspaper, and I never could get comfortable with the interface. I watch those Mac/PC commercials and feel like they’ve captured the two cultures perfectly, and I am proudly in the nerdy PC person camp. But they’ve really got my number with the MacBook Air. I may go over to the dark (and fabulous) side after all.
I made the terrible, terrible mistake of having some potato chips on Monday. The kids asked for them at the store, and as I had recently had a satisfying meal, it was easy to tell myself that I would not even be tempted by these nasty Omega-6 PUFA bombs, as I choose to eat only healthful food. (Yeah. You know where this is going.)
A couple of days later, I spotted the bag of chips after I’d forgotten to eat lunch. I morphed into Hungry Cravings Jen, which is sort of like when Bruce Banner turns into the Incredible Hulk. A beefy body guard could have stood with his arms crossed in front of those chips, saying that he refused to let me have them, and I would have picked him up with one arm and tossed him through a wall. All the chips went immediately into my mouth, along with about a gallon of ranch dressing.
Right on schedule, an hour later I crashed. HARD. I don’t know if other people experience this, but when I eat junk food it doesn’t just make me feel a little bit sluggish. I am simultaneously angry and depressed and anxious and very, very, very tired. It was shocking to consider that, before I clued in with all the “saint diet” food sensitivity stuff, I used to crash like this every single afternoon. I seriously don’t know how I survived.
A little amusement to start your weekend: how to be an unpopular blogger.
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